We learn some important things in this week’s Saving Grace — for example, we find out what God looks like, and we discover that Rhetta has apparently cloned herself and is raising the result as her daughter. Seriously, that little girl looked exactly like her. I loved it. The rest of the episode? Eh — the crime was brutal, and Grace got naked, and Earl tries to get her to stop lying, but really it’s Rhetta and her husband and daughter jumping around in the kitchen that sticks.
I won’t lie — there are spoilers.
We open with the by now obligatory naked rutting Grace shot. We get it: Girlfriend indulges in sex with all and sundry. And yeah, Holly Hunter really should eat a sandwich. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen Grace’s partner before, or if we’ll ever see him again. Once whatshisface leaves, Earl and Grace get down to important stuff — Truth or Dare. Grace seems to be using this as an opportunity to get food products from far-off lands — she’s got a big bag of Turkish coffee, several pineapples, an apple, lots of bottles (although she could have supplied them), and she sends Earl off to get spices from Morocco. Hey, that’s one way to treat a last-chance angel. I like that she has a practical streak. Oh, we also find out what God looks like: "Kind of a cross between George Clooney and Halle Berry — so pretty he hurts your eyes." That’s a biblical verse I’d like to see: "And lo, God came among the people , and the people did say Yowza! Oh mighty God, Thou art a Hottie!"
Earl dares Grace to stop lying — something she messes up almost immediately. She does decide to tell the truth to Rhetta, about an old case of theirs. Remember how I told you I got a perp’s cigarette from his windowsill? Yeah, it was actually in the ashtray in his house, and it was still smoldering. This, it turns out, is problematic — since the butt was still smoldering, it technically hadn’t been abandoned, and therefore Grace shouldn’t have taken it — it was tainted evidence. That means Rhetta can’t take the stand as an expert witness at a trial in LA, which means she won’t earn her $2,000 fee, which means she and her hubby may lose the farm. Rhetta throws a drink in Grace’s face, and they spend most of the episode not talking, which freaks the hell out of all the guys on the squad.
More awkwardness ensues elsewhere: First, Henry makes googley-eyes at Grace, and suggests they go out for dinner. Grace suggests he get another cat. Later, Henry tells her he took her suggestion — his new cat, Emma, is 21 years old. I really, really hope that he isn’t thinking every dead cat gets him another tumble with Grace. That would just be nasty.
But that’s nothing compared to Grace meeting up with Darleen, Ham’s wife, at someone’s retirement party. Grace tries to play it cool, but Darleen complements her on her perfume. When Grace replies that she’s not wearing any, Darleen mentions how perfume can rub off from one body to another, and just linger. Oh, crap, she knows! Butch takes a drunken Grace home from the bar, and Grace tries to jump him, but Butch gracefully — um, make that "tactfully" — declines. Huh — I didn’t pick him as the tactfully-declining type. Go Butch, you impress me.
Most awkward moment of all? Darleen shows up at Grace’s house a few nights later and asks Grace, point blank, if she’s sleeping with Ham. No, of course not, Grace replies. Darleen isn’t buying it. Should Grace tell her? Or is it better if she never gets confirmation? And dammit, why is Grace still sleeping with Ham anyway? Oh, wait — she sleeps with anything that moves. I forgot.
Our crime of the week involves a young African-American woman who was beaten, raped, killed and dumped. She’s dressed in a flight attendant’s uniform, but the body is in a place frequented by working girls. He body is holding an eight-day-old newspaper that contains an article about a call girl who specializes in fantasy dates, and whose clients include everyone from Oklahoma City’s richest to teenagers chipping in for someone’s birthday. The article was written by Maggie Tanner, a freelancer, and her editor said she liked to throw herself into her stories. Apparently she did — the body is hers. Grace and Rhetta search her place and find Maggie’s back-up drive, which contains part two of the story. This details the activities of one Pody Pope, who runs the prostitution ring and spends his spare time molesting his daughters. He killed two of his daughters who objected to this treatment and buried their bodies under the shed, as a warning to the rest of them. Sounds like a great guy.
The article is great, but it’s all hearsay — they need hard evidence. A homeless woman saw the car that dumped the body, and it matches a car Pope’s son owned. Grace convinces one of her working-girl friends to go out with Pope Junior, then takes a semen sample from her and uses it to match against the semen samples left in Maggie’s body. That can’t possibly be legal. And maybe it’s not, but it convinces Pope Junior to talk — he confesses that he saw Maggie, and that he drove the car, but he says his daddy did the killing. He also agrees to tell them about where Pope’s daughters are buried.
That’s as close as we can get to a happy ending for those sort of crimes — maybe, just maybe, the bad guy will be punished. It doesn’t mitigate the pain he caused countless people, but at least he won’t be hurting anyone else for a little while. I guess that’s the best we can hope for.
Other stories have happier endings. Earl goes undercover and drops by the visit Rhetta — he’s come to see her husband about buying a cow. While he’s waiting, he drops a few words in Rhetta’s ears about compassion. They stick — Rhetta forgives Grace, and they’re back to being friends again. Has Grace learned her lesson about lying? I doubt it, but who know. Maybe someday, it’ll stick.
So what do you think — does God send angels to buy cows and quote the Dalai Lama in your moment of need? Is Grace redeemable, because of the people who love her? Will she ever stop lying — to others, to her friends, to herself? What was with that scar on Grace’s shoulder? And will we ever see an episode where Grace doesn’t get naked?